How to Handle Insurance Claims
Immediately after you contact your insurance company, start interviewing for your contractor. In order to insure a fair settlement, an honest contractor is good to have in your corner. You may or may not enjoy knowing this, but the insurance company is not your best friend. They run a business, and all in all they run a good business. But, understand they make money on your premiums and save it by doing their best to keep claims as low as legally possible. Worry about picking a good contractor and having a quality roof installed. Do not worry about a contractor taking advantage of your insurance company. The insurance companies protect themselves very well.
After you’ve reported the claim, an adjuster will usually contact you in 2-5 days. If you have interior damage, be sure to notify them when they call. A thorough contractor will also help you inspect other exterior damage that may have occurred; aesthetic damage to paint, gutters, fences, window screens and seals, A/C unit coils, outside lighting, mail boxes, hot tub covers, etc.
During a storm, adjusters are often very busy and prefer not to meet with you personally. However, since most hail claims are not black and white situations, it is important that you strive to have the adjuster see your home’s damage with you and/or your roofer there. If the claim is questionable, the adjuster will tend to lean in favor of the insurance company. Understandably, it is quicker and easier to decline a claim in writing than it is to see the damage and turn the claim down face to face with you or your roofer.
When an adjuster meets with you they will first do a physical inspection of the damage and take pictures. Then an adjustment sheet indicating what was found and an estimate for the repairs or re-roof will be completed. Any discrepancies can be worked out between you, your contractor and the adjuster.
Denied Claim or Low Settlement
If your claim is denied or you feel you received a low settlement, call us. We know what your adjustment sheet should include and what the insurance company should pay for. Many customers believe it’s a conflict for the roofer to see what the insurance has paid; however a good contractor knows approximately what the insurance should have paid. We can help evaluate the insurance adjustments and negotiate the best deal for you. If there are discrepancies, they should be resolved prior to starting any work. If the estimates are close, you are ready to proceed with your claim.
Storm Chasers and Marketing Ploys
Be careful, storm chasers are experts at manipulating their clients, and are proficient at disguising themselves as local companies, so it is important to check carefully. Checking the yellow pages, and the Better Business Bureau is a good start. While not necessarily bad, beware of high-pressure sales tactics including door knocking, special discounts for show homes and insurance negotiating agreements. Look for signs of a strong track record in your community.
The Claim & Payment Process
Typically, you will receive at least 50% of your claim monies within 10-15 days after the adjuster has visited your home. The checks you receive will often be made out to both you and your mortgage company. Therefore, you may need to contact your mortgage company when you receive your first check in order to get their endorsement. Find out the name of the person whose attention you should send your check to. We suggest that you hand deliver or send your check by certified mail.
During storm seasons, insurance carriers often open storm offices to process increased volume. You may be able to pick up checks here when your job is complete.
1st Payment & Billing
Upon completion of your roof, we will invoice your insurance carrier for the balance due and process all other insurance and mortgage company requirements. We will collect your first check when the materials are delivered, or if you have deposited it, you can write Freedom Roofing, Inc a personal check. Always make it out to our incorporated name.
2nd Check Processing
When your insurance carrier receives our invoice, they may send their inspector out for verification purposes. You will then be issued a check for the final payment of your claim based on our invoice amount for the work performed, less the amount of your first check. We will then issue your manufacturers' and workmanship warranties.
Unlike some roofing companies, we do not require prepayment in order to begin your roof installation. For your comfort, our policy is to receive our payments after you have received yours. Any help in expediting the monies is greatly appreciated.